Hopfgarten has been included in the 2016 Magic Millions Trophy field and trainer Robert Heathcote is confident that the talented galloper can return to his best form if he receives luck in running in the $1 million event this weekend.
Hopfgarten performed well without receiving a great deal of luck in four race starts during the 2015 Spring Racing Carnival and he finished a very close second behind Traveston Girl in the Listed Brisbane Handicap (1640m) at Doomben on December 5, but he beat home just a single runner when 12th in the Listed Bernborough Quality (1615m) at Doomben on December 19.
Heathcote said that Hopfgarten had no chance whatsoever after being caught wide in the Bernborough Quality and he is hopeful that jockey Craig Williams can give the son of Mossman a better ride from another wide draw in the 2016 Magic Millions Trophy.
“He hasn’t had much luck,” Heathcote said
“We took Hopfgarten down to Melbourne and he had some unlucky runs.
“He came back up here and Craig Williams was up here doing a bit of riding recently, but even Craig admitted that not much went right last start because he was three deep with 59 kilos all the way.
“We have come up with another wide gate, but I am after one of Craig Williams’ absolute best on Saturday.
“He is a chance, he is good enough and he just needs an element of luck.”
The 2016 Magic Millions Trophy field was released yesterday and Hopfgarten is set to take on a quality field in the race formerly known as Magic Millions Stayers Cup.
The Bernborough Quality is set to be the key lead-up race to the Magic Millions Trophy and winner Centre Pivot will have the chance to make it two wins on the trot, but will face stiff competition from the likes of Centre Pivot and Worthy Cause.
One of the most interesting runners in the Magic Millions Trophy field is Queensland Oaks winner Tinto, who has the opportunity to become the first horse since Drizzle in 2008 to win the race in back-to-back years.
Tinto returned from a racing campaign in Sydney after finishing a credible second in the Group 2 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Royal Randwick on December 12 and she returned to winning form with a tough effort at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day.
Hopfgarten is currently available at 2016 Magic Millions Trophy odds of $10 with Ladbrokes, while Centre Pivot ($3.70) is a narrow favourite from Tinto ($4.80), Worthy Cause ($5.50), Jumbo Prince ($7.50) and Shotacross The Bow ($10).